Does Alan Grayson owe Dan Rather royalties for borrowing his famous sign-off?
As a loyal member of the Democracy For America [Howard Dean's old organization] email list, I just received a fundraising message from Grayson. The Dem congressman from Florida who sprang to national attention with his stunt on the House floor accusing Republicans of wanting Americans to "die quickly" has death on the noggin again. Excerpt from his money-seeking missive [emphasis added]:
These [health insurers] have decided that if it costs too much to keep a child breathing, then this child will die. They will deploy their lawyers and their accountants, to make sure that this child dies.
Accusing companies of wanting to "make sure that [a] child dies" sounds like it could be libel, but I digress. Here's how Grayson ends his melodramatic pitch:
Since the passage of ObamaCare on March 21, the liberal media have been working hard to crack down on dissidents, painting the tea party movement, talk radio, and Republicans as dangerous radicals inciting violence against Democrats.
The three broadcast networks and the cable channels all jumped on board the bandwagon of smearing conservatives as angry hate-mongers, in order to discredit broad-based legitimate opposition to the unpopular legislation.
After devoting several stories to unsubstantiated allegations of racism and spitting by Tea Party protesters last weekend, the New York Times almost ignored an actual death threat made against a top Republican, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 Republican in the House, that resulted in the first actual arrest since the alleged wave of threats against politicians began.
Norman Leboon of Philadelphia was ordered held without bail pending a mental health evaluation after trying to post a video threatening Cantor onto the clip-sharing site Youtube.
The Times made do with a one-paragraph Associated Press brief buried in the National Briefing section on page 18, with an uninformative headline: "Philadelphia: Man Held in Threat on Congressman." (The Times also ran a four-paragraph story on the paper's "Caucus" blog Monday afternoon.)
By contrast, the Washington Post's Anita Kumar devoted a comprehensive story to the incident in Tuesday's paper, including details not included in the Times's AP dispatch, like the most threatening quote from Leboon's video: "You receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads. You and your children are Lucifer's abominations." The Post also reported that Leboon donated $505 to Obama's presidential campaign.
Jordan Marks, the head of Young Americans for Freedom and a Tea Party activist, took on CNN's Rick Sanchez and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) Monday and came out looking like the only sane, civil man in the room.
Appearing on "Campbell Brown" to address recent allegations of death threats by Tea Partiers against Congressional Democrats, Marks told substitute host Sanchez, "I think it's a shame that people point to the tea party as inciting ignorance."
When Sanchez challenged him on this point, Marks calmly responded, "I would put them in the same category as the same people that call the tea party organizations or call FreedomWorks or call Americans for Prosperity or Young Americans for Freedom spouting the same ignorance."
As you might imagine, the typically hyperbolic Grayson was having none of this (video embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary, h/t NB readers Reginald Thornton and Patrick Mohan):
NBC on Monday night squeezed in a few seconds for the arrest of “a Philadelphia man for threatening the life of the number two Republican in the House of Representatives, Eric Cantor of Virginia.”
Yet after the networks led last week with less-immediate threats against Democrats, they weren’t so interested in a real case of a death threat against a Republican as neither CBS nor ABC aired a word about the arrest and NBC’s Brian Williams gave it short-shrift after leading last Wednesday with Democrats as the victims: “It's getting ugly as anger over health care reform erupts into some over-the-top rhetoric, including threats now against members of Congress.”
The next night, Williams still portrayed opponents as the only ones with miscreants amongst their ranks: “While the White House continues to celebrate its largest-ever legislative victory, opponents of health care reform have reacted to the final vote with anger, a few of them with threats of violence.”
CBS last week started with “threats of violence against Democrats who voted for health care reform” as Nancy Cordes relayed how “Democrats complain Sarah Palin is also using violent words and imagery.” On Monday, the CBS Evening News devoted a full story to fretting over a “loophole” which insurance companies may use to delay providing coverage to kids with pre-existing conditions and Katie Couric spent half a minute on how the New York Yankees are “the best-paid team in all of sports,” with the NBA “the highest-paid league” followed by cricket’s Indian Premier League.
However, former Fox News "Special Report" anchor Brit Hume, now a senior political analyst for network, said there was a possibility the VAT could be pushed into law during a lame-duck session of Congress, if loss for the Democratic Party are steep enough to force them to relinquish their control following the 2008 cycle.
Watch the latest business video at &amp;lt;a href=&amp;quot;http://video.foxbusiness.com/&amp;quot;&amp;gt;video.foxbusiness.com&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;Curt Schilling is finding out that starting a small business in the state of Massachusetts is more taxing than 50,000 heckling Yankee fans could ever be.
Schilling and wife Shonda were interviewed on Fox Business Network's "America's Nightly Scoreboard" March 26. After discussing Shonda's health problems and their son's Asperger's Syndrome Schilling shared his thoughts on politics and running a businesses in Massachusetts.
"You see the country moving into the wrong direction, and you're trying to get it moving in the other direction. What beyond Scott Brown are you doing now?" host David Asman asked.
"I own a company called 38 Studios, a gaming company which has now got me involved in politics on the state level in a way I never dreamed possible," Schilling said. "There's film and tax credits for the film industry around the country - around the world. The industry that I'm in was a $60 billion a year business last year."
Schilling explained his search for state help and the offers from other states and countries that entice business owners to leave Massachusetts.
The Weather Underground and the Tea Party movement: Same thing?
In the wake of Obama-care's passage, New York Times reporter Benedict Carey took the country's political temperature, and found it running a right-wing fever, in a front-page Sunday Week in Review essay. It's ominous title was cribbed from the famous scene in the movie "Network," "RAGE's DNA: Mad As Hell. And..." The online headline is even blunter: "When Does Political Anger Turn to Violence?"
The story is accompanied by a photo illustration of an open book of matches, one of them lit.
There's also a really strange choice of photo caption on the jump page: an archive photo, courtesy of Getty Images, of the late-1960s left-wing domestic terrorist group The Weathermen, including Obama friend Bill Ayers, directly above a similar picture of marching Tea Party protesters from last Sunday. Here's the caption, which suggested that while the two movements are not the same they share some DNA:
VARYING DEGREES OF RAGE The Weathermen, including Bill Ayers, second from right, during the Days of Rage in 1969, and anti-health reform protesters in Washington on Sunday.
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked political analyst and writer for the left-leaning blog Slate.com, John Dickerson, if Democrats were "worried" about the "ton of momentum" behind the tea party movement. Dickerson replied: "What Democrats can only hope for is that tea party activists somehow overreach and that that ends up becoming a stain on the Republican Party."
Rodriguez agreed and touted Democratic Party talking points on ObamaCare: "Right. And also, if you ask the Obama administration, they'll tell you maybe people will see the few health care changes that are taking effect immediately and actually like them and it'll turn the tide of public opinion."
"That certainly is the hope," Dickerson replied, but then lamented: "The polling right now does not give the Obama administration a lot of encouragement on that front." He explained that the American public was simply afraid of change: "The problem is that people are nervous about change and this is an enormous change in their lives....people really just don't believe it yet."
The student newspaper of Katie Couric's alma mater was silent today about an incident of vandalism Thursday night or early Friday morning against a local Republican Party office, even though the same paper devoted a front-page story on Friday to a severed propane line believed to have been an act of vandalism targeting the Democratic congressman who represents Charlottesville, Va.
Reacting to Haley Barbour's quip that the liberal media has given President Obama "the longest wet kiss in political history" after last week's passage of ObamaCare, Ed Schultz made clear on MSNBC this morning that he feels President Obama deserves it for all the fierce criticism he and Democrats faced during the months of debate over the legislation.
The MSNBC host and liberal radio talker was interviewed by colleague David Shuster shortly after 10:30 a.m. EDT today.
Shuster introduced the segment with a clip of the Mississippi Republican governor's quip on the March 28 edition of ABC's "This Week" and went briefly over some polling data before asking for Schultz's thoughts [MP3 audio here]:
Monday's Washington Post continues the "ugly" health-care protest theme by somehow making a national story out of a protest "which never included more than three people at a time" outside the home of freshman Rep. Steve Driehaus in west Cincinnati. That's on A-3.
The Post said the poor Democrat found "angry protesters wouldn't allow him a full escape from the raw and vitriolic discussions that have embroiled the health-care debate for more than a year."
In the Metro section, the Post took days to acknowledge that the GOP headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia discovered two bricks thrown through its "very thick" double-pane glass windows on Friday morning. That's in the bottom left-hand corner of B-6.
Perhaps tuning in to NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show" isn't high on your list of priorities, outside of wanting the chance to catch Dan Rather suggest something bizarre like President Barack Obama couldn't sell watermelons. However, if you had watched the March 28 broadcast of the program, you would have found the show's roster of panelists think the Tea Party movement is a black mark on the Republican Party, as far as it pertains to unseating the Democratic majority in Congress.
Matthews' show featured NBC Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell, Newsweek's senior Washington correspondent Howard Fineman, CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger and Atlantic senior editor Andrew Sullivan. In the aftermath of the passage of ObamaCare into law, some have suggested this was a defeat for the Tea Party movement. Matthews asked if the mere existence of this movement was a plus or minus for the Republican Party.
"OK, all things considered, if there were no Tea Party crowd, we never saw them demonstrate - would that be better for the Republican Party, or is the Tea Party a plus for them in November, winning elections?" Matthews asked.
Reacting to a newly released ABC News/Washington Post poll which found 50 percent opposed to the just-passed health bill versus 46 percent in favor of it, on ABC’s This Week, Mississippi’s Republican Governor, Haley Barbour, quipped:
I am surprised that the numbers in the Washington Post poll weren't better. I mean, since this thing passed last weekend, we've been seeing the longest wet kiss in political history given to the Obama administration by the liberal media elite and every day it goes by, it’s sloppier.
That prompted a chuckle from host Jake Tapper, before the other guest, Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor, Ed Rendell, countered: “I don't know what Haley watches. I don't know what channels Haley watches, but that's a lousy way to kiss, boy because it's getting pounded in the media, a lot of the media is pounding the bill.”
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on Sunday said that since healthcare reform legislation passed a week ago, the liberal media have given the Obama administration the longest wet kiss in political history.
After ABC's Jake Tapper hosting "This Week" asked the Governor about a new Washington Post poll finding Democrats have become a little more popular since the bill passed, Barbour replied, "I am surprised that the, the numbers in the Washington Post poll weren't better."
He marvelously continued, "I mean since this thing passed last weekend, we've been seeing the longest wet kiss in political history given to the Obama administration by the liberal media league, and every day it goes by it gets sloppier" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, relevant section at 8:13):
Did Frank Rich read Charles Blow's column and sub-consciously subsume it? Rich's NY Times opus of March 27 is a virtual echo of Blow's item of March 26.
Coincidence or not, the two Timesmen are very much on the same wavelength. Their shared theory: conservative opposition to Obamacare is fueled not so much by the substance of PBO's plans as it is by the racism, homophobia and sexism of people who can't bear to witness America's changing demographics.
Compare the eerie similarities in the two columns [emphasis added].
If the media outlets are going to report on tea party events, they're not likely to get any benefit of the doubt much of the time.
Case in point - at the Tea Party Express event on March 27 in Searchlight, Nev., which former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke, CNN's Fredricka Whitfield wasn't quite prepared to give the rally credit it was due as far as participation. She estimated that hundreds, but if not, "at least dozens of people" were in attendance. (h/t fstaff with assist from Mark Finkelstein)
"Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin there in Searchlight, Nev., was the backyard of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but today it's the backdrop of this Tea Party Express - making a stop here," Whitfield said. "Hundreds of people, at least dozens of people - we haven't gotten a count of how many people turned out there. We heard Sarah Palin talk about everything about the campaign, to unseat Sen. Reid to what she calls ObamaCare, on the heels of that health care vote and even talking about her definition of her love of America."
In the same week Democrats forced unwanted healthcare reform down America's throat, internal documents surfaced across the Pond showing plans for massive budget cuts at Great Britain's National Health Service.
"The sick would be urged to stay at home and email doctors rather than visit surgeries, while procedures such as hip replacements could be scrapped," the Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
"Documents show that health chiefs are considering plans to begin sacking workers, cutting treatments and shutting wards across the country."
President Obama's campaign group Organizing for America is using alleged death threats against Democrats in Congress to raise money for its efforts to get the public to support the unpopular healthcare reform bill signed into law this week.
As Obama-lovers in the media hyperventilate over every incident they believe confirms their most derogatory view of Tea Party members and anyone voicing opposition to what's happening in the United States, will they give attention to the fact that the White House is using the publicity as a fundraising vehicle?
Consider that question as you read the following posting by OFA Director Mitch Stewart (h/t Cubachi):
Appearing on the radical-left public radio network Pacifica on Tuesday to promote his DVD of Capitalism: A Love Story, filmmaker Michael Moore called the passage of ObamaCare a victory...for capitalism:
Well, I mean, to me, it all comes back to this issue of an economic system that is truly evil. And the healthcare bill that was passed ultimately will be seen as a victory for capitalism, because it protected the capitalist model of providing healthcare for people. In other words, we’re not to help people unless there’s money to be made from it. That is so patently disgusting and immoral, but that’s the system. That’s where we live.
Moore wanted the leftists to get right back to pushing a "single payer" option that outlaws insurance companies:
In another predictable column condemning the Tea Party movement, Paul Krugman called Ronald Reagan an “anti-government fanatic” and disdained “the eliminationist rhetoric of the G.O.P" in Friday's "Going to Extreme," using the same silly examples of alleged violent imagery the rest of the press has been wringing their hands over. So why was Krugman happy with the idea of angry lefties hanging Sen. Joe Lieberman in effigy over his opposition to health care?
What has been really striking has been the eliminationist rhetoric of the G.O.P., coming not from some radical fringe but from the party’s leaders. John Boehner, the House minority leader, declared that the passage of health reform was “Armageddon.” The Republican National Committee put out a fund-raising appeal that included a picture of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, surrounded by flames, while the committee’s chairman declared that it was time to put Ms. Pelosi on “the firing line.” And Sarah Palin put out a map literally putting Democratic lawmakers in the cross hairs of a rifle sight.
In doing so, Klein [pictured in file photo at right] contrasted Frum with "extreme" conservatives who were "pretty close to Jonestown" by "drinking their own kool-aid." Not only is the former Bush speechwriter a friend whose thinking he respects "even when we disagree," Klein argued that Frum is the Right's Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a genteel intellectual who bucked his party on some tenets of its orthodoxy but ultimately was vindicated by history:
I have some experience with a party intent on committing suicide. The Democrats were profoundly self-destructive when it came to race and crime in the 1970s and 1980s. They nearly excommunicated Daniel Patrick Moynihan--one of my mentors--because he told the truth about the impact of out-of-wedlock births on the black family. Over time, Moynihan's thesis was proved by sociology--and supported by prominent AFrican-American [sic] progressive scholars like William Julius Wilson--but he was never really welcomed back into the fold. And he didn't really care. Because he knew he was right.
In the days surrounding passage of healthcare overhaul legislation, Republican lawmakers have been left to strike a fine balance between harnessing voter outrage and fueling it.
Examples of raw anger have piled up. A call to New York Democrat Louise M. Slaughter said snipers would "kill the children of the members who voted for healthcare reform." Later, a brick smashed her Niagara Falls district office window. Hate messages jammed the lines of Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, the anti-abortion Democrat whose last-minute support helped cinch passage. Law enforcement offered increased protection to at least 10 lawmakers, a security measure usually only afforded party leaders.
Other incidents targeting Democrats are also included in the 18-paragraph article of over 800 words.
Yet it is not until the penultimate paragraph that a shooting incident at the office of minority whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) is noted:
Introducing a report on passage of the ObamaCare reconciliation bill on Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez referred to a couple upcoming rescue stories on the show and cheerfully remarked: "And speaking of rescues, the Democrats have rescued health care reform, once on death's door, after putting the final touches, finally, on the sweeping legislation yesterday."
At the top of the show, co-host Harry Smith proclaimed: "Health care reform is a done deal after Democrats in Congress make final changes to the historic legislation." In the later report by correspondent Nancy Cordes, an on-screen headline read: "Done Deal; Obama Health Care Plan Gets Final Approval From Congress."
Cordes played a clip of Democratic Congressman Robert Andrews giving a glowing description of the bill: "Tonight the underdogs won. The people who have been abused by their insurance companies, turned down because they had asthma, or had their policies canceled because they got cancer, they won." She framed the GOP as against helping such people: "Republican opposition in the House and Senate was unanimous."
Don't blame Mika—she was just obeying White House orders . . .
When Joe Scarborough tried this morning to comment on Pres. Obama's latest ObamaCare oration, Mika Brzezinski unleashed a series of seemingly serious kicks at his ankles. Having successfully silenced her sidekick, Mika proceeded to read off her Blackberry a statement extolling the glories of what PBO has vouchsafed onto a grateful people.
At one point, Mika said "I have some talking points from the White House." Being the naive and trusting person I am, I assumed Mika was kidding. Except that, upon a bit of Googling, it appears that she wasn't . . . [H/t reader Pam M.]
An evening after all three broadcast network newscasts led by advancing the Democratic narrative of violent ObamaCare critics, a storyline intended to discredit conservatives as all gratuitously named Sarah Palin as a culprit, on Thursday night the same programs weren't so interested and only stumbled into the suddenly “bipartisan” victims – despite fresh revelations of threats and violence aimed at Republicans who voted no.
“It's getting ugly as anger over health care reform erupts into some over-the-top rhetoric,” Brian Williams announced at the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, arguing “the debate over health care reform has gone too far. It's now veered into threats of violence,” citing “ten Democrats who have been threatened.” Incredibly, on Thursday night, Williams still portrayed opponents as the only ones with miscreants amongst their ranks:
While the White House continues to celebrate its largest-ever legislative victory, opponents of health care reform have reacted to the final vote with anger, a few of them with threats of violence.
Two stories later, only after reporter Kelly O'Donnell had noted that “just before the Senators cast their votes, they paused to honor the late Ted Kennedy,” did Williams arrive at the threats “reported by Democrats and Republicans.” Williams:
Newsweek's Liz White took to her magazine's The Gaggle blog today to decry how conservatives critical of the Democratic health care bill have slapped it with "the ominous-sounding term ‘Obamacare.'"
You see, most mainstream media sources only use the term when quoting opponents of the bill or when "carefully placed in quotations or alongside an explanation that Obamacare is how opposition refers to the bill."
This prompted me to investigate how Newsweek dealt with the term "Reaganomics" during the Gipper's early presidency compared to how Newsweek's print pages have used the term "ObamaCare" thus far. The results are telling.
A Nexis search yielded only one reference to ObamaCare from January 20, 2009 through March 25, 2010: a Michael Hirsh article that said that in 1994, "as now, the Republicans were trying to exploit a backlash against big government. It was Hillarycare in '94; now it's Obamacare."
By contrast, a Nexis search for "Reaganomics" from January 20, 1981 through March 25, 1982 yielded 65 hits, many of which had the term Reaganomics used by a Newsweek staffer himself and in a manner to cast the term in a negative light.
I've included some examples below, including some by journalists who are still working in the media today and actively cheering on ObamaCare:
Not content with simply reporting on threats against lawmakers who voted for ObamaCare, the liberal media has taken it upon itself (with a bit of direction from the Democratic Party) to blame the Tea Party and the GOP.
The coverage stands in stark contrast to the litany of similar instances involving conservatives and Republicans. They were treated as isolated incidents, if discussed at all.
CNN's Rick Sanchez certainly got the memo. On his show yesterday, he accused "crazy talk show hosts" and the Republican Party of inciting violence against lawmakers who voted for ObamaCare. He took to Twitter later that night to ask, "are our fundamentalist zealots different than the ones we fight in afghan and iraq?"